State Forests

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Burntside State Forest

 

Forest Landscape: The topography of this area is typical of northeastern Minnesota. It is rough and rocky with broken knobs and sharp lateral ridges of exposed bedrock. The geologic formation is known as the Laurentian and Canadian Shield. Glacial activity caused this land surface area to be rough and broken. This situation is favorable to the accumulation of water in ponds and lakes, of which there are 43 within or bordering Burntside State Forest.

Management Activities: The land within Burntside State Forest boundaries has never been used for agriculture or settlement due to the terrain. Studies of the area show, however, that under very intensive forestry practices, this area could prove productive. Today, this area contains jack pine (a few virgin stands remain from the fires), white pine, Norway pine, aspen, birch, and northern hardwoods on the uplands. The lowlands support black spruce, balsam fir, northern white cedar, and tamarack.

History: The history of this area goes back to the fur traders, but settlements were not established until 1866, when gold was discovered. However, minimal results along with the difficulty in mining through the igneous rock for the gold gave way to the discovery of iron ore in 1886. Along with this development came the timber cruisers. The lumbermen, expecting to find vast stands of virgin white and red pine, were disappointed to find 70 percent of the area covered with 10- and 35-year-old jack pine stands. In 1874, this area was left barren by fire; all that had grown since was the jack pine and popple. The land cruisers considered this worthless and moved on.

Acres: 74,815

Year Estab: 1905

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